Meet the man behind the Secret Door to Bratislava guide, and numerous other eye catching projects ranging from packaging design to advertising. Michal Haziordips his toes into every bucket of paint, working for clients big and small, local and international. He tackless them all with his own contemporary style of mixing minimalism with street art, without being afraid of colour. He seeks inspiration from new environments and experiences, and seems to prefer a paint brush over the click of a mouse.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
I’m 28 years old. I’ve been working previously for Board magazine based in Prague and in advertising agencies Wiktor Leo Burnet and MUW Saatchi & Saatchi. At the moment I’m more or less self-employed and taking my time to work on illustration – printed or digital, work on graphic design, painting and also getting inspired by common things surrounding me.
How would you describe your style?
It’s very simple and sometimes even a bit naive but I combine lots of techniques in my style and it is also very colorful, full of details.
What or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by people active in completely different areas than I work on. For example cooks from all around the world, comedians, musicians, fashion people, common people from small towns. I enjoy listening to their stories, watch them work – those are things I like to apply into my work or life.
I also search for inspiration in new environments, I have to experience new things – small things, like try different way to the shop I usually go to, try new food or meeting new people. Literally, just doing ordinary everyday things, in a different way. But on the other hand I like to keep my standard I just need some change from time to time.
What are you working on at the moment, and is there one project you are particularly proud of?
At the moment I’m working on the biggest illustration I have ever made, for MUW Saatchi & Saatchi. I also have smaller installation in a restaurant called U Kubistu. This restaurant is mentioned in brochure The Secrete door to Bratislava, which also makes me happy. And I am proud of my design for bottle of alcohol called TERKELICA.
You’ve had your illustrations grace the surface of everything from t-shirts, sneakers and bottles, what would the ultimate object or place to decorate be?
I don’t really care as long as I have the creative freedom from the owner of the object. It is all about that freedom actually, I don’t mind painting on anything, even if it is the Statue of Liberty. It is just that freedom of expression I need.
You work a lot with typography. What’s your feelings on freehand vs. digital?
If we are talking about lettering – it is more difficult. It takes some time to get the right grip in the hand and then you have to practice it everyday. If only one word doesn’t work out well, you have to start all over again.
On the other hand in the computer you have lots of tools and methods to work with and you can correct everything. But the truth is I like the manual work more. I love to watch the ink being melted and fused and I really like painting with a brush.
Who would be your dream client or design project?
I want to work for people or brands I respect and admire for having a clean vision of what they do. I like when brands have a concept or idea that works and they are built upon values. I like when brands have a story behind them, rather than a will to earn money. Those brands that I think have this are for example: Carhartt, WIP, NIKE…
I don’t want to work for anybody just to earn the most money. I find pleasure in things I have mentioned at the beginning.
What role does paper and print play in your work?
I use paper often at my work, especially when I create the base which I want to digitalise later on a computer. I like to keep that human touch in it, even if I print it again on paper afterwards, it has better value for me. Lately I started to use bigger and thicker paper for my paintings. I even prefer it to the canvas, it is easier for me to work with paper because I like to feel the structure and the smell of it.
How is the design scene in Bratislava, is it a good city for a designer to live in?
Yes, I think it is the right city – not the biggest one, but also not the smallest and lots of great designers, illustrators, art directors live here. We all know each other here and we create healthy competitive atmosphere among us, that pushes us further.
We just published an article about “The Secret Door to Bratislava”, at which of the featured places can we most often find you?
I would like to spend as much time as possible on painting and illustrations till summer. Maybe travel a bit and in the summer I will hopefully relax by the sea and definitely spend my time with friends.
Make sure to check out Michal’s website and blog, and keep up to date on the latest projects on facebook. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Next time we’re in Bratislava, we’re sure to check out some of the places you recommended, see you there!